There’s a new trend in wellness: drinking water.
It might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. A whole fleet of apps and ‘smart’ water bottles, both of which track how much you drink, have begun to explode in popularity, affirming that water is the new craze.
You’ve seen gym rats carrying around enormous gallon jugs of water, heard models gush about its beauty routine benefits, and felt its refreshing effects during a summer day or after a night of drinking. You know water is good for your body, but what exactly does water do?
In the simplest of senses, water keeps you hydrated. You lose fluids constantly throughout the day: through sweating, exhaling water vapor, urinating and bowel movements, being at high altitude, diet, etc. In addition to helping retain and replenish much-needed fluids, water helps control calories and energize muscles.
Just how much are you supposed to be drink per day? You’ve probably heard of the 8 glasses of water rule, but in reality, it’s recommended that males drink 13 cups and women drink 9, on average, per day. For men, that’s about 6 regular-sized bottles of water, and for women it’s a little over 4. Of course, the amount of water you’re recommended to drink per day varies with several factors, including exercise, health, diet, climate, age, stress, travel, pregnancy, altitude, and work.
If you’re reading this and thinking, I definitely need to drink more water, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to tell you about the best drinking water apps and bottles - how they work and what they do. And, if you’re not into tech-y solutions, we’ve compiled a list of easy tricks for upping your H2O intake at the bottom.
The Best Water Tracking Apps
There’s an entire fleet of drinking water tracking apps that are, more or less, the same. Some apps such as the free Plant Nanny turn the otherwise tedious task of drinking water into a competitive game. Users keep their absolutely adorable plant alive as they drink the recommended amount of water each day. Other apps, like Hydro Coach, simply track how much water you intake and let you set constant reminders throughout the day. There’s even an app called WeTap that crowdsources water fountain locations for thirsty users to get hydrated, helping reduce the dependency on single-use plastic water bottles.
The Best Smart Water Tracking Bottles
If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced and regimented, try getting a smart water tracking bottle. The H2O Pal Water Bottle tracks exactly how much you’ve drank and, by syncing to its companion app, sends notifications as a reminder to reach your specific hydration goals. For the more artistically-inclined, the beautiful Hidrate Spark 2.0 bottle from Urban Outfitters comes in three clean colors and begins to emit a soft glow when it notices you haven’t taken a sip in a while.
Don’t want to try an app or a smart bottle? Here are our five best tips for how to increase your water intake:
1. Set constant alarms. Have multiple alarms to drink water throughout the day, from the moment you wake up to when your head hits the pillow. Make sure you space the alarms out, and place an emphasis on drinking right after you exercise.
2. Always eat food with water. Especially if you’re eating food full of sugar or sodium–as these are typically dehydrating—pair water with the food. It’ll help your digestion as well.
3. Drink whenever you go to a new place. Go to Starbucks? Drink some water with your coffee. Get to the office? Drink while the computer turns on. Go to a meeting? Bring a water bottle. You get the idea.
4. Check your urine. If your pee is yellow (or darker), that’s a sign that you need to down a few glasses of H2O.
5. Flavor your water. Are you one of those people who thinks water tastes bland? Add some flavor to your water by putting berries, mint, or citrus fruits in your bottle. There’s even a neat bottle which has an infuser to hold those fruits and vegetables for that truly all-natural flavor. Or try Hydrant, which adds a subtle lime flavor and essential electrolytes to your next glass of water.